Ready for the back-to-school rush? Don't forget immunizations


By Dr. Rex Archer, MD, MPH, Director of Health, City of Kansas City, Mo.

The three weeks before the start of school, my wife and I remember trying to fit everything in: last-minute vacations, clothes shopping, school supply shopping and trying to prepare my kids for the new school year. Luckily, we usually got everything done in time.

But, sometimes not everything is crossed off the list — because it might not even be on your list.

Every year, after school starts, our atrium at the health department fills with kids and parents, who forgot to make sure their child was up-to-date on immunizations. Their schools have dismissed them and will not let them back into class until they have all the required shots. Parents are upset that more time is taken up in their already busy schedule.

We encourage parents to avoid the back-to-school rush that occurs before school starts.

Our clinic is open during normal business hours, except between 12-1 for lunch and Thursdays after 2:00.

To accommodate working parents, we will hold a special weekend clinic at the Kansas City, Mo., Health Department on 2400 Troost Ave. on Saturday, Aug. 10 between 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Parents or guardians need to have a copy of their child’s shot record, but if your child has been immunized at the health department before, parents can get a copy when they register.

Immunizations are free for children who have no insurance, who have limited insurance that does not cover immunization, or who are eligible for Medicaid’s Vaccine For Children program.

The immunizations are important because we want to make sure that kids remain healthy so they can stay in school. We have seen an increasing trend of pertussis (or whooping cough) cases because children are not getting their needed vaccinations, and parents have not had a pertussis booster. For a limited time, as long as supplies last, the health department will be offering free Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (TDaP) vaccine, normally a $50 cost.

Please help keep Kansas City students healthy and in school.


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HCF's Local Health Buzz Blog aims to discuss health and health policy issues that impact the uninsured and underserved in our service area. To submit a blog, please contact HCF Communications Officers, Jennifer Sykes, at



About Bridget's Blog

Bridget McCandless

Bridget McCandless, MD, MBA, FACP, HCF President/CEO

Bridget McCandless is the President/CEO of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and is a Board Certified Internal Medicine Specialist with an interest in chronic disease management and poverty medicine. She shares her thoughts and perspectives on health and policy issues that impact the health of the community as a whole.

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